BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – THE United States of America, through its Navy Hospital Ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20), will be offering free medical services in St. Kitts and Nevis as part of a three-island stop in the Eastern Caribbean.
In a statement, the US Embassy in Barbados indicated that the vessel would be in the Federation from October 5-10, while it would be in Grenada and St. Lucia from September 15-20 and September 25-30, respectively.
While visiting those islands, the ship will conduct approximately 100 onboard surgeries, provide basic medical services at two medical walk-in sites, as well as host health fairs/community outreach to address various public health topics.
According to the US Embassy, surgery candidates would be selected by the respective country’s Ministry of Health.
Onboard surgeries, it said, would fall under the categories of Opthalmology, General Surgery, Orthopedic Surgery, Oral Maxillofacial Surgery, Plastic Surgery, Wound Care and Urology.
Surgery candidates would be drawn primarily from existing waiting lists within the public health system.
The US Embassy also indicated that candidates with the optimal clinical background and those who have been on the waiting list for the longest timeframe would be prioritized.
The categories of services offered at the medical walk-in sites are Adult Medical Services, Pediatric Medical Services, Dental, Optometry, Physical Therapy and Dermatology.
The walk-in sites will operate from approximately 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day on a first come, first serve basis.
In order to see as many patients as possible, each person will be seen by only one provider, unless that provider deems additional services are needed for the identified condition and are available at the site.
The Embassy urged members of the public not to send medical records to its Barbados location.
The visit forms part of the ship’s five-month deployment to Latin America and the Caribbean on a medical assistance mission.
The USNS Comfort operation is part of the deepening of the US engagement in the region under the health pillar of the US-Caribbean 2020 Strategy.
This will mark the seventh hospital ship deployment to the region since 2007.
The USNS Comfort medical teams will also provide care in Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Trinidad and Tobago, Haiti, Jamaica, and Panama during this deployment.